Investigating Gef Pt 1: McDonald

Captain McDonald Investigates

In early 1932, Jim Irving wrote to the famed psychic researcher Harry Price about Gef's antics and invited him to visit. At the time Price was too busy working on other cases to investigate in person. So he sent his friend Captain James McDonald to Cashen's Gap in his stead. [1]

McDonald arrived at the farmhouse on February 26. He wrote in his report to Price:
"On my first day, the Irvings showed me cracks in the farmhouse walls where they said the mongoose spied on visitors. I was there till midnight, but the mongoose was silent." 
"As I was leaving to go... a voice screamed: 'Who is that bloody man?' Irving gripped my arm. 'That's the animal!' he said."
Gef took an instant dislike to McDonald. "I've been looking at the man, and I don't like him" he told Jim. "He does not believe in me. He is a doubter!"

The next afternoon, the captain was taking tea with the family when a large needle
ricocheted off the teapot. Jim promptly remarked that Gef was "always throwing things at us".

The Captain later heard "shrill screams and knockings all over the house" followed by a heavy fall in Voirrey's room. He ran upstairs and discovered a chair left on top of Gef's sanctum had been pushed onto the floor.

That evening, McDonald overheard Mrs Irving talking to Gef upstairs in Voirrey's room. "Won't you come down? I believe in you!" he called up hopefully. "No - I don't mean to stay long," shrieked Gef. "I don't like you!"

Undeterred, McDonald crept quietly up the stairs, hoping to catch the mongoose by surprise. To his chagrin, he slipped on a loose tread and tumbled noisily back down. "He's coming, the dirty old sleech!" [2] yelled Gef indignantly, and promptly fled. It was the last the captain heard from him during his visit.

Mrs Irving tried her utmost to persuade Gef to talk to McDonald, but in vain. "He's damned well not going to get to know my inferior complex," declared the intractable mongoose.

Next: Investigating Gef Pt 2: Harry Price Investigates

[1] The name 'Captain McDonald' was actually a pseudonym for Captain James Denis.

[2] A Manx word meaning a sly or deceitful man.